Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre still has no plans in place for where it will play next season while its ballpark gets a $40 million facelift.
The deadline previously set by the International League came and went today without a proposal from Scranton leadership on a potential site (or sites) for where the team hopes to play in 2012. International League president Randy Mobley had set today’s board of directors meeting in Albuquerque as the deadline for a final proposal from the team. Mobley said in a statement today that “league directors have established a timeline and process that will assure this matter is resolved in a timely manner.”
Mobley did not immediately return a phone call seeking further comment.
Mobley had previously said that the Yankees were considering roughly six locations to play next season and would prefer the team to stay within the International League footprint.
One source familiar with the situation said that Scranton had narrowed its choices down to a couple teams and expected a decision shortly. Figuring out how to make the schedules work was the main roadblock, the source said.
Among possible sites under consideration are fellow International League affiliates Lehigh Valley and Rochester. Both Lehigh Valley president Kurt Landes and Rochester CEO Naomi Silver have said they are open to hosting the Yankees, though Silver said the Red Wings could accommodate Scranton for just half the season.
In May, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett approved a $20 million state grant to renovate PNC Field. The Lackawanna County Stadium Authority will match the grant with $20 million to complete the project. The majority of that money will come from the proceeds of a previously agreed upon $14.6 million sale of the team to SWB Yankees LLC—an entity made up of the New York Yankees and Mandalay Baseball that currently operates the team.
The sale of the team had yet to be brought before the league, and Mobley had previously said he expected it to be finalized at today’s meetings. He also said he expected it to be approved.
“Everybody realizes how significant the sales proceeds are to make this (ballpark renovation) happen, so you aren’t going to let them continue down this path if you anticipate there to be opposition to the sale,” Mobley said lat month. “If there were something in the early phases that would cause the league to blow it up, that would have already occurred.”